How to take care of your car this Harmattan

Posted by: Testimony Olajire

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Do you know cars can have increased fuel consumption, engine miss, rough idle and even starting problems during Harmattan? Check out now!

It is that season of the year again where we get to freeze in the morning and heat up in the afternoon… Harmattan.

It is also the period where a lot of people tell us that they are being prepared for travelling to Canada; we wish them all the best in their preparations!

This period, people go about rubbing extra lotion and glossing lips so they don’t crack. We heard Jos at one time was cooler than London. Well, our folks there, happy freezing!

One important thing that must also be cared for during this period is also your vehicle. If you are already rubbing extra lotion and wearing 7 sweaters, after using hot water at 100-degree Celsius to bathe (by the way, I thought you were hard guy, hard guy!) your car also needs some attention:

1. Get your car a duve too!

In case you never knew, the cold during harmattan can be very tough on car batteries. Research has shown that when the weather is very cold, your car batteries would require more current to start. Actually, it might even prevent the car from starting sometimes. Therefore, a good, thick car cover would ensure that your car is warm, all the way to the engine.


Your car needs warmth as well

2. Check and change air filters more regularly

You know this period is characterized by a lot of dust in the air. When you drive, your air filter might get clogged and this might cause it to malfunction. A failed airfilter might cause you a lot of problems such as increased fuel consumption, engine miss, rough idle and even starting problems. Therefore, it is recommended that you regularly check your air filter during this period. Averagely, the recommended time to change your air filter in Nigeria is 6 months. But during the Harmattan, depending on how much you move, you might have to change it sooner because of the dust accumulation.

>>> Know the Recommended time to change your air filter

3. Check your fluids

During this period, you might find out that some of your fluids; brake, transmission, engine oil might thicken when it is very cold. So, ensure that you check the fluid levels every morning before leaving your house. This should only take a few minutes but it is important so you do not get stranded on the road, in the cold! But in any case, you should have some extra fluids in your boot whenever you go out.

>>> Here are:

4. Please wash your car

We know that it is Harmattan and we also know that after driving a few metres, your car might become dusty again. We know! But a car washed daily would still look better than one that is washed weekly in this period.


The dusty condition requires more washing

How would you even go a week without washing your car in such dusty conditions? 

We think that driving dirty cars is a criminal offence against the automobile industry!

Apart from aesthetic purposes, dust residue on your car is not good for it. It can lead to a quick erosion of your paint and damage some parts following rust. 

In addition, you can also have some good microfiber towels in your car. They can come in handy if your car becomes dusty during the day. You can easily use them to wipe off the dust so your car looks better during the course of the day.

>>> More about car wash:

5. Use your fog lights

For cars that have fog lights, please use them. This time, very early in the morning we are aware that there is usually a reduction in visibility. Oncoming cars might not be able to see you coming. Therefore, to avoid stories that touch, please use your fog lights. If your car does not have front fog lights, please put on your headlamps ad do not forget to always beep your horn when driving. This instruction is even more for your safety than any other thing.

This is also the period where all your light should be working; brake light, tail light, fog light, headlamps! They should all be working and if they are not, please make appropriate repairs. Even if you think that you are a very very hard guy and you have special night vision, not everyone is like that, so please ensure that all tour lights are working so that other drivers can see you and drive accordingly. 

>>> Tips for your lamps: How to remove moisture buildup from your car headlights

6. When driving

Some basic rules to protect you and your life while driving:

6.1. Avoid changing lanes unnecessarily

The reason for this is obvious, poor visibility might lead to another road user bashing your vehicle unintentionally. Try as much as possible to keep things cool, until visibility improves.

6.2. Do not get too close

When driving, keep some distance in poor visibility. The driver ahead might also not see something in time and might make a sudden stop. If you are not too close, you would have the space and time to adjust accordingly. 

6.3. Take note of traffic and construction signs

This is more important when you are travelling on a road that you are not so familiar with in poor visibility. But even if you are very familiar with the road, something could have changed in one night. So be careful to look out for any signs on the road. You do not want to run into a crane or something at a construction site!

>>> You should know:

6.4. Slow down

Poor visibility requires slow driving. You can pick up the pace once visibility improves and things get clearer. In short, abeg slow down!

And if your car has a heater and if it works, you would be grateful for that this period :)

7. Be careful with petrol this period

It is the dry season and things easily get ignited. So if you have to do anything that involves petrol, be extra cautious in this period. I do not think this one requires too much talk!

>>> More on car fire for your safety:

8. Do not go out if it is not necessary

This is a formula that works like magic. It involves staying in your house and minding your business. This way you do not even have to stress yourself or your car. Limit your outings to only necessary ones… 

I mean, the weather is very cold!... I want to lie at home, under my duve all day!

If you really adhere to these steps, you would have a car that would operate smoothly and give you minimal or no problems at all during this period. 

So, my fellow brethren, please enjoy the Harmattan!


>>> Stay tuned with for the latest car news, Tips & Advice, Car Prices, and Reviews!

Testimony Olajire

Testimony Olajire


Testimony Olajire is a witty and innovative content writer with He creates top quality educative content on automobiles that readers can both relate with and enjoy. He has a keen interest in understanding what lies under the hood of any car, practical driving and safety tips, automobile history and managing automobile-related businesses; all in the Nigerian context.   

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